Digital Stats of the Week, Follow the Money Edition

5 dollar amounts that caught our eye

How much cash changes hands is always hot topic of conversation around Thanksgiving dinner tables. Getty Images
Headshot of Josh Sternberg

Next week, millions of people will travel far and wide to gather with friends and family. At my house, we’ll stuff our faces with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes, followed by loosening our belts a bit as we settle in to watch some football.

We’ll also dance around political issues and societal problems and infrastructure week, which will eventually turn the conversation to how much money is wasted in society. And that will give me my in to talk about the inequities of media and how much money changes hands between brands and agencies, agencies and media, brands and agencies and media AND platforms. It’s an ongoing flow of cash.

Here’s a look at a few dollar amounts that caught our eye this week :

$49.5 billion: the amount of total digital advertising spend, according to report published this week from the IAB. Jumping 23 percent from last year, the IAB says it’s the largest sequential rise in the more than two decades the trade organization and accounting firm PwC have been issuing the report. Ad-tech reporter Ronan Shields writes:

The findings, based on data provided by media buyers and sellers with an additional element of qualitative research, is seen by many as a bellwether for the industry. Some of the largest advertisers in the business have threatened to pull their budgets from digital, but report authors maintain that sustained spend from heritage brands plus rising investment from d-to-c marketers mean the sector is thriving. (It’s unclear whether Google and Facebook’s ad revenue is included in the IAB report.)

$5.25 billion: the amount spent on advertising in local broadcast, local cable and digital for the 2018 midterm elections. TV editor Jason Lynch looked at some numbers from Kantar Media about the midterms, writing:

The 2018 election spending was 78 percent higher than the 2014 midterms, which had a $2.95 billion haul, and even beat the 2016 presidential election spend—$4.47 billion, including $122 million in national buys—by 17 percent.

Digital ads, which ran most often on Facebook and Google, almost quadrupled from 2014, jumping from $250 million to $950 million. The 2016 election digital ad spend was $650 million.

$132 million: the amount of combined revenue three ad-tech companies—the Trade Desk, Rubicon Project, and Telaria—reported this week in third-quarter earnings. Shields writes that the Trade Desk seems to be bucking the “ad-tech shakeout” trend:

The Trade Desk continues to be the ad-tech darling of Wall Street, with projected revenues of $148 million for the closing quarter of the year, based on favorable projections for its burgeoning connected TV business as well as strong growth in foreign markets, notably in APAC.

$40 million: the amount Standard Cognition, an autonomous checkout company, raised this week. Self checkout, or cashier-less technology, is growing, as companies from Amazon on down experiment with ways to make the check-out journey more expedient. Commerce reporter Lisa Lacy reports:

Standard Cognition has signed four retail customers in Asia, North America and Europe. However, a rep said the only customer it has announced is Paltac, a wholesaler of consumer goods and over-the-counter drugs in Japan. The rep also noted its goal is to have deployments at 3,000 stores in Japan prior to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

$33.1 million: the amount of revenue Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital generated in the third quarter. Agency reporter Lindsay Rittenhouse took a look at the former WPP chief’s new company:

For the three-month period ending on Sept. 30, gross profit was up almost 32 percent to $23 million. Excluding acquisitions and in constant currency, year-over-year revenue was up 46 percent and gross profit rose 33 percent. Year to date, S4 reported that revenue grew more than 48 percent to $94.3 million and gross profit was up nearly 40 percent to $67.5 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) operating gross profit margin at MediaMonks, the digital production company S4 acquired for $350 million in July, was steady at around 20 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, and grew to 25 percent in the first nine months of 2018 from 15 percent during that time last year.

@joshsternberg Josh Sternberg is the former media and tech editor at Adweek.